Free Smart Start Program

Columbia State is offering a limited number of students access to a free Smart Start program for students who are registered for the Fall 2024 semester. The Smart Start program is specifically for students who have Learning Support Placements in Math, Reading, or Writing. There are eligibility requirements to participate in the Smart Start program.

Why participate in Smart Start?
  • Take a FREE low-stakes assessment in either English or Math in one required session at the Columbia campus.
  • Determine if you have knowledge gaps now.
  • Spend time this summer to complete an online personalized study plan to prepare for your college level class requirements.
  • Access this study plan from home using a computer with Internet access or from a computer at any Columbia State campus.
  • If you successfully complete your study plan, you avoid the time and cost of Learning Support classes during the 2024-25 academic year. 

The Smart Start program provides participants access to EdReady to prepare for either success in (Reading and Writing) or Math. Only participants in the Smart Start program are able to use EdReady for Learning Support placement during the 2024-25 academic year.

What is EdReady? 
Watch the following video to learn more about EdReady:

EdReady Math Explainer from The NROC Project on Vimeo.


The Columbia State Smart Start team will help you decide which EdReady assesment to select.

How Do I Sign Up?
If you are willing to spend the time to take a low-stakes assessment and complete the study plan, then submit this form. If you are eligible for the program and respond in time to acquire a limited seat, you will be notified within seven (7) days of form submission. The notification includes your Smart Start Meeting assigned date and time.

Eligibility requirements are listed below. If unsure of your eligibility based on the items listed below, complete the form, and the Smart Start Team will review your record. We will notify you if you have been selected for the program.

Am I Eligible?
Students who have already attempted equivalent Learning Support courses are NOT eligible.

In order to have time to complete the study plan for Fall 2024 it is recommended that the assessment be taken by July 25, 2024.

Recent high school graduates must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Student is a first-time freshman enrolling for the first time within five years of high school graduation for Fall 2024 semester.
  • The student's cumulative high school GPA is between 3.00 and 3.59 on a 4.0 scale.
  • If the student has an ACT subject score for the subject where course placement is being evaluated, the subject score is 15 and above in math or reading or 14 and above in English.

Adult students who meet any of the following may be included:

  • More than five years have passed between the student's high school graduation and learning support placement.
  • The student has no valid ACT score, SAT score, or high school GPA; Accuplacer is the only valid placement method available to the student.